HIGHWAYS bosses have appeared to voice frustration over delays in getting Government funding for a £40m scheme to re-route a key trans-Pennine road which has been beset by landslips.

Leading officers told a meeting of North Yorkshire Council Council’s executive that while taxpayers were continuing to face large bills for work to maintain the A65 around Kex Gill, between Skipton and Harrogate, decisions on funding from Whitehall were still awaited.

The meeting was told the council has already spent £2.1m on the scheme and expected to spend a further £1.5m this year in making preparations, but there was a risk Government funding may not be immediately forthcoming.

David Bowe, the council’s director of business and environmental services said: “When we do manage to have a conversation they are quite positive, but in truth it is quite difficult to engage them.”

He said the scheme, which has been warmly welcomed by residents and commuters who have faced delays and diversions, was being “put on the shelf” and would be ready to be launched when funding became available.

Councillor Don Mackenzie, the authority’s executive member for highways, said the council had presented an outline business case for the diversion to the Department for Transport (DfT) and that “all the messages we have received” from the DfT were positive and that they were inclined to fund the scheme.